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Dr. med. Michaela Schmidt

Gass P. DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft SFB 636: TP B03: Profiling stress effects, environment and drug actions using. 01/2012-12/2015.

Stress and glucocorticoid receptors (GR) are important for the pathophysiology of mental disorders, e.g. depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The exact role of GR, apart from control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis), however, is rather unclear. Using transgenic reporter mice with an inducible GR response element, generated in the current funding period, we plan to identify, where and when in the brain, stress activates GR mediated transcription, both in physiology and in models for psychiatric disorders. Hereby we will use our established models of acute and chronic (mild) stress, learned helplessness and long-term contextual/generalized fear conditioning (PTSD model). In these models we will try to identify GR controlled target genes using microarrays and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analyses. A functional role of the respective brain areas for disease-related behavioral alterations should be demonstrated in respective mouse models using a virus-mediated up- or downregulation of GR. Within the consortium, we will collaborate with and contribute to several other projects with respect to mouse behavioral analyses of emotional behavior as well as learning and memory.

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) - https://www.zi-mannheim.de